The Garlock-Elliott Family


The Garloch Family Line, con't.

The Fifth Generation: The Family of John Mack GARLOCH and Sarah CHAMNESS

John Mack Garloch and Sarah Chamness wedding picture, 1902.

Wesley GARLOCH and Matilda Martha YOHO's youngest son, John Mack GARLOCH, was born May 10, 1877 in Pultney Township, Belmont County, Ohio. In his early twenties he worked as a carriage trimmer in Indianapolis, Indiana. He upholstered the Marmon factory's first automobiles. John married Sarah "Sadie" Ellen Chamness on October 9, 1902 in Indianapolis. Sadie was born March 10, 1882 to Lucius "Luke" Brooks Chamness and Martha Lindsay in Hendricks County, Indiana.

In February, 1961, Opal Garloch HOFFMAN, John Mack's niece, wrote a letter to Anita Garlock IRWIN, John Mack's granddaughter:

"…your Grandpa and my Dad were brothers. I am almost a year older than Melvin. Because we [the family] lived and were together so much from long before I was born and Uncle John (your grandpa) had no girls he said he felt like we were so close as if I were his daughter. You see my Dad (Fred) and Uncle John were the two youngest in their family and after they were married lived next door for a time [in Indianapolis] (when I was born and also my sister that died). When we moved it still wasn't so far away (walking distance) until after my mother died [in] 1912, then Aunt Sadie in 1913. At times Uncle John lived with, not visited, us. Uncle John 'seemed' next to my own father in 'kin.' So you see I known and loved your grandpa long before you were born."

John Mack Garloch and his five sons.

Back : Melvin, John Mack.

Front: Ivan, Sherman, Emmett, Emery.

c. 1915.

John Mack and Sarah Ellen's six children were: Melvin Harold and his twin brother who was stillborn, January 29, 1905; Emery Theodore and Emmett Roosevelt, January 1, 1907 who were twins; Sherman Wilford Brooks, March 29, 1909; and Ivan Wesley, March 9, 1911. The family lived at 1037 N. Traub Street, Indianapolis, Indiana. There was a racetrack nearby and the boys would sneak over and watch the races under the fence. Sadie died of tuberculosis on November 1, 1913 when the boys were 2 through 8 years old. She is buried in Mt. Jackson Cemetery, Tibbs Avenue, Indianapolis.

John Mack's second wife was Emma GAHHART whom he married on December 31, 1915 in Marion County, Indiana. That marriage was of short duration. John Mack became disabled and had to place at least the four younger boys in the Oddfellows Home for Children in Greenville, Indiana. John was a member of the Oddfellows Lodge and had the Oddfellows tattoo (three intertwined rings) on his forearm. Because a child could only stay there for one year and then they were put up for adoption, John Mack removed the boys at the end of the year. He then placed the younger boys, Sherman and Ivan, in an orphanage in Kentucky and returned with Melvin and the twins, Emery and Emmett, to Belmont County, Ohio. There the twins lived with John's sister, Martha Matilda CARMAN [Aunt Sis], and worked in exchange for care. Melvin (12 years old) worked on farms in the surrounding area to earn his board and keep. He told of sleeping in unheated lofts, wrapping a comforter around his head to keep warm. He said his breath would condense around the hole he left for his mouth and frost would form on the comforter.

When John Mack was able to get back on his feet and bring his family together again, he set up housekeeping in a low-income area called Quaker Hill in Sebring, Ohio. It was a big pottery center during that period. Times were very hard and there was little food and clothing. Emery always said he was sent off to school with a cold pancake and a green apple in his pocket. Emmett spoke of going to school with two unmatched shoes and being ridiculed by the other kids. The boys all had to work as well as go to school.

John Mack Garloch and his five sons probably at the family reunion in 1938.

Back : Emery, Emmett, John Mack, Melvin.

Front: Sherman, Ivan.

John Mack struggled on, working as a watchman and selling door-to-door for Watkins Products. Later he sold greeting cards door-to-door. Sherm's son, Curtis, remembers that as Grandpa got older he still insisted on making his rounds. To keep him home, Ivan bought up his entire stock of cards only to return later and find Grandpa sitting there with a whole new supply.

My mother Doris' distant cousin by marriage, Ruth Elliott, lives in Salem and although we had never met her, Grandpa was tying our lives together. I received a Christmas card note from Ruth this week [I finally met her this summer through my Elliott family research] she said, "I never got to meet your mother but knew about her from Mr. Garloch. He lived about one street over from us and sold a product (I can't remember what it was) and used to stop by for an order and once in a while I could con him into staying for dinner. He lived with Mary and Mel at that time. I lost track of him when they moved to the other side of town. Eddie [Edwin Elliott, Ruth's husband] worked at Eljer's and he [Grandpa] was a security guard there was how we knew him."

John Mack was a very social person. He wrote long, newsy letters to all his relatives. He went on the Greyhound Bus to visit relatives all over the country. He must have been in his late seventies or early eighties when his grandson, Dale, son of Sherman, found him hitchhiking along the road in Salem. He picked him up and John told him he was hitchhiking to Wichita to see Emery. Dale took him home to his dad and they then put him on a plane for Wichita. Emery's daughter, Marilyn, remembers being in Wichita on the other end and thinking what kind of a neat grandpa he was to set off hitchhiking from Ohio to Wichita for a surprise visit!

Left: John Mack Garloch and his great-granddaughter, Tammy Irwin, c 1962.

Right : John Mack Garloch leaving Wichita, KS after his last visit with son Emery, c 1962.

He kept in touch with the Garloch's in Indiana and Belmont County, Ohio. As soon as a grandchild got married they were put on his list of people to visit. I remember his visit to my house in Springdale, Pennsylvania about 1956. I was struggling to recover a small bedroom chair when he arrived. He set down his "grip," rolled up his sleeves, took the hammer from me, loaded up his mouth with tacks, and proceeded to do the job right. And that's when I learned that Grandpa had covered buggy seats as a young man. I was very grateful for his expertise.

John was 85 years old when he died in 1962 at the Hutton Albright Rest Home where he had been a resident. He was buried next to Sadie in Mt. Jackson Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.


Janice Garlock Donley
700 Tenth Street • Oakmont, PA 15139 USA


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